Friday, December 23, 2011

Scott Speck Photography at the Blue Elephant

I had the opportunity last week to see Scott Speck's solo photography show at The Blue Elephant. Among the photographs there was a collection of photos made with a pinhole camera. Each photograph is accompanied by a poem relating to the image. All the poems were written by the DC and Artomatic poet BRASH. Scott sent the images for the show via email to BRASH, who then wrote the poems. The poet clearly has a way with words.

Zero Image 2000 Pinhole Camera
As I entered the gallery, I caught the tail end of Scott's explanation to visitors of the workings of the pinhole camera. The camera is hand-made by Zernike Au of the ZeroImage pinhole camera company. It is constructed of of teak wood and brass, and has a beauty of its own.

When asked more about the camera, Scott wrote: "It uses roll film, and the shutter is OPEN in this photo. The shutter is controlled by a cable release. The pinhole is at the center of the brass disk on the front face of the camera. The film is advanced with the knob shown on the right. The light merely passes through the pinhole and strikes the film. There is no bending of light through a lens of any kind. A difficulty with using this camera is that you cannot look THROUGH the camera to compose your scene. All composition is done through mental visualization of the scene."

Pinhole photographs are generally very crisp in the center and then begin to blur and distort toward the edges. It makes for some very fascinating photos.

Homicide Detective Dan Lenick -
Scott Speck - Pinhole Photography
Scott Speck - Foggy Forest in West Virginia

Scott Speck - St. Matthews Cathedral,
Washington, DC
- Pinhole Photography
Scott Speck - Forest - Pinhole Photography

Scott Speck (right) speaks with gallery visitors
about the technique of pinhole photography.

Scott Speck's Photography at the Blue Elephant Gallery

Scott's work will remain at The Blue Elephant until December 30th.  The three public receptions took place earlier this month, but you can still see the exhibit by appointment:  301/471-5950  The Blue Elephant is a working studio for an ecclectic group of artists located at 4A West 5th St, in downtown Frederick, Maryland.

Next month's Blue Elephant show features Vince Coates' abstract paintings, photography and sculpture. The show is called "Fish Mon, Zookeper, and Gypsy Women."  Vince will also read selections from his recently published books. The exhibit opens January 14th  - 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Shop at The Artists' Gallery - Small Works Big Hearts

The Artists' Gallery, is a cooperative of regional artists that has provided exhibit space for artists for over 20 years.  It is located in Frederick's historic district, near the corner of Market and Church Street.In keeping with the Holiday spirit, the Gallery is featuring the Small Works collection, an exhibit of over 100 smaller, modestly priced pieces, suitable for giving as Christmas gifts. The Gallery will donate 10% of the sales of the Small Works to the Frederick Community Action Agency
Christina Lund talks with 
Marc Weinberg at The Artist's Gallery

The Artists' Gallery is staffed by the artists themselves. So when I stopped by the Gallery yesterday, I was able to talk with one of this month's featured artists, Christina Lund. Christina provided information about the Gallery, her work, and the work of other artists' works on exhibit.

I also met Marc Weinberg, a photographer and exhibitor at this month's show. I noticed his photos looked like paintings. He explained the process by which he prints photographs with archival inks on museum quality, specially formulated canvas called "Lyve" by Breathing Color. He then  varnishes them with a special varnish for that canvas. 

Each month, the Gallery displays a number of works by two featured artists and the remainder of the space is dedicated to other artists' work. This month the Gallery is hosting an exhibit by Christina Lund called Earth and Water. The second exhibit is the Small Works, Big Hearts show. Christina has had a keen interest in landscapes and water. Go to the Artists' Gallery website and click on "Artists," and you can see photographs of all the artist's work as well as a longer description of Ms. Lund's show.   

The Gallery's holiday hours are: December 3 through December 31, Fridays and Saturdays Noon -8:00 pm, Sundays from Noon to 5:00 pm.  Closed on Christmas day.  Visit the Artists' Gallery website, or visit them on Facebook.  Located at 4 E. Church Street, Frederick MD, 21701, USA. 301-696-8171.  The Gallery's regular hours are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Noon to 5:00 pm.  A few photos from the exhibit follow.

Rise by Christina Lund
Marc Weinberg Photographs

Marie Riccio
Joanna Morrison

Friday, December 2, 2011

TIP for Landlords and Tenants: The Walkthroughs

One way to help landlords protect their investment and tenants protect their rights is to build paired walkthroughs into the rental transaction process.

1) After the lease is signed, but before the tenant moves in, the landlord should arrange for a walkthrough of the apartment or house with the tenant before they move in. Take photos! Use a standard form and let tenants describe in writing anything that they see that they are concerned may look like damage to the landord at the end of the lease.  Both sign this document. The tenant gets the original - the landloard keeps a copy of the document and photos.

2) Have a walkthrough after the tenant moves out. Take photos! Document the condition of the apartment or house. Give the tenant the opportunity to sign. Give tenant a copy. This is the landlord's  documentation of damages (if any) that might reduce the tenant's security deposit. Tenants can use this opportunity to document the condition for themselves so that if disputes come up later, they have their own records.

This general idea was presented by Peter Giardini, the speaker  at last night's Hub City Real Estate Investors Association meeting in Hagerstown. The REIA is a "venue for networking and learning for real estate investors". It is also a great place to learn tips, laws, best practices, etc. for real estate investments. Last night's topic was Rentals and Landlording. Peter has been a longtime landlord and had many tips for how to run a rental property last night. Has his own real estate blog.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Frederick Festival of Greens - Wreaths of the People

A Magical Christmas Wreath - Debbie Morton
The fourth annual Festival of Greens is now open to the public in the Cultural Arts Center downtown at 15 West Patrick Street in Frederick, MD. The Festival is an exhibit of wreaths donated by individuals, schools, clubs, businesses, and other organizations that will auctioned off via silent auction. The wreaths are hand made out of both traditional materials and very creative and clever use of ordinary or decorative objects.
Leslie Ruby, co-chair for the festival, described the process of selling the wreath auction as a fundraiser for the Frederick Arts Council. Each wreath has a title and the name of the donating organization or person. Some of the wreaths come with bonus items such as gift cards, books, music, theater tickets donated by individuals, Frederick Arts Council members and local businesses.
The Festival Puzzle Art - Ellen Byrne
Leslie Ruby and Sue Stanczyk, event co-chairs for the last four years, commented that the Festival is getting established as a notable holiday event. Last year they took in and sold 86 wreaths. This year they have 125 to auction. There are a few side activities associated with the festival. The "Do You Have the Missing Piece" puzzle drawing offers anyone the chance to select a puzzle piece and see if it matches a holiday puzzle created from a graphic by local artist Ellen Byrne (see photo). If it matches, you get a gift. Another activity, the "People's Choice" ballot, gives an  opportunity for those viewing the wreaths to vote for their favorite.

47 Zippers - Julie Amegashi
This year, a few folks who wanted to donate a wreath participated in the "Mystery Box" wreath making kit. The Arts Council gave these participants a box containing objects from which they had to create their wreath. An example shown in the photo at right. If you get the chance, come downtown and take a few minutes to view the wreaths and be sure to bid on one or two. A small sample of the collection is shown below. If you like these, there are 89 others on display!

The exhibit runs from November 25 - December 4, 2011. Free to the public. Contact the Frederick Arts Council for further information: 301-662-4190

Icy Magnolia - Sue Stanczyk

Lots & Lots of Ribbon - Monica Spillis

Charming Frederick - Lou & Suzanne DiPasquale

A Very Merry Cocktail - Amanda Jarboe and Danny Stanczyk

Framed for the Holiday - Gallery 322

Snow Glam - St. John's Regional Catholic School

Cheers for Sully - Frederick Alliance for Youth

Wreath of Light -The Dining and Happy Hour Guide

Hood College - Karen Nalley

Let it Snow - The Banner School

Family Fun - The YMCA

'Tis the Season - Beverly Reidinger & Eric McComas

Whimsical Joy - Frederick Ski Club / Debra O'Brien

Holiday Wishes With Strings Attached - Urbana High School Orchestra

Christmas In Narnia - Thurmont Thespians

An Ostentation of Peacocks - Karen Peacock

Eat My Wreath - Beverly Reidinger

Cross Country Around Frederick - Ski Club / Susan Chapman

Wine Your Way Into The Holiday - Lousanne Welgoss

Christmas Pinecones -
Emily Stull, FCC Landscaping Student

Dog-Gone Christmas - Dale Dowling

Service - Fredericktowne Rotary

Gone to the Dogs in Jefferson - H.C. Summers Feed and Supply

Downtown Celebration - Downtown Partnership

Heart Felt Holiday - Regina Lewis

Red & White Christmas - Cherly Concannon

Under the Sea - Arts Club of Walkersville High School

Peanuts Christmas - Donita Garrett
Sugar Plum Wreath - Footlights

Helping Hands - Thomas Johnson Middle School Learn for Life Class

Santa Climbs - The Trail House

Advent Wreath - MD Shakespeare Festival
Happy Holidays Sweetie - Leslie Ruby

Monkey Business - Tammy O'Connor